2007 -- S 0666 SUBSTITUTE B
A N A C T
RELATING TO INCORPORATION OF THE DUNN'S CORNERS FIRE DISTRICT
Introduced By: Senator Dennis L. Algiere
Date Introduced: February 15, 2007
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. The act entitled "An Act to Incorporate the Dunn's Corners Fire District,
and to Amend Contiguous Boundaries of Said Fire District and the Westerly Fire District and the
Misquamicut Fire District" passed at the January session 1952 and all amendments related thereto
are hereby repealed in their entirety.
SECTION 2. An act entitled "An Act to Incorporate the Dunn's Corners Fire District" is
hereby enacted to read as follows:
An act entitled "An Act to Incorporate the Dunn's Corners Fire District" is hereby
established as follows:
The Dunn's Corners Fire District, otherwise known in this document as "the District," is
incorporated for the purpose of providing fire suppression and prevention and the protection and
preservation of life and property endangered by fire or any related emergencies that may occur
within the boundaries of the District and beyond in the form of mutual aid to neighboring districts
upon request as provided herein, and for such other purposes as may be deemed necessary,
appropriate, or incidental to the foregoing.
The District may have a common seal, sue and be sued, and enjoy the other powers
generally incidental to the quasi-municipal corporation, including the following:
1. To provide fire suppression and prevention within or outside the territorial limits of the
2. To obtain, own, establish, operate, maintain, equip, repair, improve, enlarge any fire
apparatus, building, facilities or property of any kind in order to carry out the purposes of the
3. To acquire, hold, use, lease, sell, transfer and/or dispose of any property, real, personal,
intangible or any interest therein for its corporate purposes, and to mortgage, pledge or lease any
4. To enact bylaws for the management and regulation of District affairs.
5. To borrow money for any of its corporate purposes, including the creation and
maintenance of working capital, and to issue negotiable bonds, notes or other obligations and to
fund or re-fund the same.
6. To create a reserve fund(s) for the future maintenance and replacement of property and
apparatus in amounts not exceeding the sum of 1/20th of 1% of the total assessment of the
7. To contract in its own name for any lawful purpose deemed necessary to carry out the
purposes of the District.
8. To execute all instruments necessary to carry out the purposes of the District.
9. To enter into cooperative agreements with cities, counties, towns or fire districts within
or outside the District for mutual aid or for any other lawful corporate purposes necessary or
desirable to carry out the purposes of the District.
10. To fix rates and collect charges for the use of facilities or for services rendered by or
furnished by the District, or its employees or its volunteers.
11. To levy and collect taxes on the taxable property within the District to carry out the
purposes of the District in the manner provided in this charter. They shall exempt from taxation
any such property within the boundaries of the District as shall be approved by a vote of seventy-
five percent (75%) of the eligible voters present at any meeting of the District. No exemption
shall be granted unless the request for said exemption shall be specifically set forth in the call of
the meeting at which it is to be considered. Such exemption, when granted shall continue
indefinitely, unless a specific term shall be specified.
12. To do all things necessary or convenient in order to carry out any and all express or
implied purposes and powers of the District granted under this charter.
13. To expend such funds as necessary to effect repairs in the event of damage or failure
which renders the District unable to provide appropriate response to fire and related emergencies.
1. The District shall have the boundaries as set forth below and the same may be
amended from time to time. (See appendix A for District Boundaries)
2. The owners of the greater part of the land within any area contiguous to the boundary
lines of the District, as set forth above, or as may be extended from time to time by operation of
this section, may petition the District that the territory within which they own the land be
admitted as part of the District. The Operating Committee shall consider the admission of the
territory described in such petition and may require, as a condition of such consideration, the
payment to the Treasurer of the District the sum equal to the cost of a survey of such additional
territory and such plans and reprints as the Operating Committee shall deem necessary. Upon
approval of such petition by the Operating Committee, the same shall be referred to the next
Annual Meeting of the District or the Operating Committee shall call a Special Meeting. Notice
of the meeting of the District at which the admission of the territory is to be considered shall be
given in the normal manner as provided for in this charter, but shall also make special mention
that the admission of territory is to be considered. At such meeting, a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the
eligible voters present is required to accept the admission of the territory described in said
petition. Upon approval and acceptance notice shall be filed with the Secretary of State, and said
territory shall be included within the boundaries of the District.
II. Management and Officers.
A. Operating Committee – Establishment.
1. The Operating Committee shall consist of six (6) members.
a. The Committee will consist of four (4) at-large members chosen as follows: at the first
Annual or Special District Meeting following the passage of this charter, two (2) members shall
be elected for one year, and two (2) members shall be elected for two (2) years. Thereafter, the
term of office shall be two (2) years. Each at-large member must be an eligible elector of the
b. The fifth member of the Committee shall be a Fire Department Representative,
selected by the Dunn's Corners Fire Department for a one year term.
c. The District Chief shall be a member of the Operating Committee and will
automatically be recused from any discussion by the Committee which involves any personnel
matters involving the Chief.
The Committee shall elect one of its members to act as District Moderator for a term of
one year. The District Moderator shall preside at all meetings of the District and the Operating
Committee. The District Chief shall not serve as District Moderator.
a. Any vacancy that may occur amongst the at-large members of the Operating
Committee shall be filled by a majority vote of that Committee, and the person so elected shall
serve until the next Annual or Special Meeting of the District, at which time an election shall be
held to fill the remainder of the unexpired term of the departed member.
b. Any vacancy of the Fire Department Representative will be filled in such manner as
the Dunn's Corners Fire Department shall choose.
c. A vacancy of the District Chief shall be filled by an Acting District Chief, selected by
a majority vote of the Operating Committee, and that person shall serve until such time as a new
District Chief has been selected as described in the Charter.
B. District Officers.
1. Clerk: The Clerk shall be appointed by the Operating Committee for a period of one
year. The Clerk's duties shall be as listed in the "Electors and Meetings" Section of the Charter.
2. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be appointed by the Operating Committee for a period
of one year.
a. The Treasurer shall pay out and expend only those funds that are authorized to be
expended as stated in this Charter.
b. The Treasurer shall execute the decisions of the District with respect to arranging loans
and other financial instruments.
c. The Treasurer shall make a statement annually of all accounts, in writing, showing the
sums received and paid during the previous fiscal year.
d. The treasurer, before commencing his or her duties, shall give his or her bond with
corporate surety in the amount and form satisfactory to the Operating Committee, the premiums
for which shall be paid by the District.
3. Tax Assessor/Collector: The Tax Assessor/Collector shall be appointed by the
Operating Committee for a period of one year, and shall carry out duties as outlined in Section
"Taxation" of the charter.
C. Powers and Responsibilities of the Operating Committee.
The Operating Committee shall be responsible for the overall management of the District.
It shall have charge and control of all property and employees of the District and shall have full
authority to exercise all the powers and functions necessary to carry out the purposes of the
District. The Operating Committee's powers and responsibilities shall include the following:
1. To make a full and complete report at each Annual Meeting of the District of the
operations of the District. Said report shall include other such other events and transactions as the
Operating Committee may deem necessary and appropriate.
2. To prepare and submit a proposed budget and tax levy for all operations of the District
for approval by the electors of the District at the Annual Meeting. Until such time as said budget
is approved, the previous fiscal year budget will apply on a pro rata basis.
3. To have control of all fire apparatus belonging to the District except when under the
control of the fire chief as provided herein.
4. A Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the Operating Committee, and
approved by the eligible voters, for the purpose of recruiting and presenting nominees for any
open elected or appointed positions on the Operating Committee at the next Annual Meeting.
Eligible voters of the District who would like to run for an open slot on the Operating Committee,
or who would like to nominate an individual for an open position, must contact the Nominating
Committee at least thirty (30) days prior to the Annual Meeting. Eligible voters who would like
to be considered for an appointed position in the District must also notify the Nominating
Committee of this at least thirty (30) days prior to the Annual or Special Meeting at which the
position will be filled.
5. To appoint District officers, and employees as it shall deem necessary to conduct the
business of the District, and to fix their salaries and benefits. Appointees, elected officers, and
employees shall act under the supervision of the Operating Committee.
6. To employ a certified public accountant to periodically audit the financial records of
7. To retain legal counsel, on an annual and an as-needed basis, to represent and advise
8. To abate any District taxes, upon recommendation of the District Assessor established
herein and in accordance with applicable law.
9. To prepare the voting list to be used at any Annual or Special Meeting of the District.
10. To make appointments to fill any vacancies in District offices until the next Annual or
Special Meeting of the District.
11. To appoint all committees, except as otherwise provided herein.
12. To enter into contractual agreement with outlying fire districts, beach associations,
residential cooperatives, or similar organizations, to provide fire protection services.
III. Electors and Meetings.
Every person residing with the District, who is qualified to vote in the municipal
elections for the towns of Westerly and Charlestown shall have the right to vote at any meeting of
the District or any adjournment thereof. Proof of residency may be requested at a meeting of the
District by the Operating Committee if there is a question about whether the individual is a valid
B. Annual Meeting.
The Annual Meeting of the District shall be held on the third Wednesday of July each
year. The fiscal year will begin June 1st and End May 31st.
C. Special Meeting.
It shall be the duty of the Clerk or the Moderator to call a Special Meeting upon written
application signed by twelve (12) electors of the District or upon the order of the Operating
Committee. Whenever the subject of ordering a tax or an amendment to this charter is to be acted
upon, the same shall be so stated in the notice; provided, that notice of an Annual Meeting need
not mention that a tax levy is to be acted upon.
D. Adjourned Meeting.
Any business conducted or transacted at any Annual or Special Meeting may be referred
to an Adjourned Meeting upon request of twelve (12) eligible voters present at any such meeting,
for the purpose of voting on such matters, either by paper ballot or machine. Said Adjourned
Meeting is to take place on the second Wednesday following the meeting at which the Adjourned
Meeting is requested. Voting hours shall be from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM at a location within the
boundaries of the District, to be decided by the Clerk, which is easily accessible and convenient
to the eligible voters of the District.
All meetings, whether Annual or Special, shall be held at some suitable place within the
territorial limits of the District. All such meetings shall be publicized by the Clerk in accordance
with state law.
Twelve (12) electors shall be deemed to constitute a quorum for any meeting. At least
three (3) of those shall be members of the Operating Committee. In the event, for any reason,
that a quorum is not present at the time a meeting scheduled to open, the Moderator is authorized
to delay the opening time of said meeting for such a period of time, as in the discretion of the
Moderator, shall bet serve the interest of the District.
1. Upon demand of a majority of the electors present at any District meeting, any pending
motion, resolution, or matter, other than a motion to adjourn or to amend a pending motion,
resolution, or matter shall be called for a vote by the Moderator.
2. The clerk shall keep and maintain minutes of any meeting of the District, and make
same available to electors.
3. Except as otherwise provided herein, a majority of electors present and voting at any
meeting of the District shall be necessary to approve any motion, resolution or matter called to
4. In the event that any elector shall desire to present any motion, resolution or matter at
an Annual Meeting of the District that would require the appropriation of money, said elector
shall first present said motion, resolution or matter for inclusion in the budget to the Operating
Committee at the advertised public meeting of the Operating Committee scheduled immediately
before the date of the Annual Meeting of the District. In the event that the Operating Committee
accepts the motion, resolution or mater, it shall be included in the annual budget presentation. In
the event that the said motion, resolution or matter is rejected by the Operating Committee, the
elector may then present the same motion, resolution or matter at the Annual Meeting under new
business, provided said elector files in writing a copy of said motion, resolution or matter with the
Operating Committee at least ninety-six (96) hours prior to the Annual or Special Meeting. In the
event any motion, resolution or matter is proposed at an Annual Meeting without first complying
with the aforementioned prerequisites, said motion, resolution or matter shall be ruled out of
order. This section shall not preclude amendment of the budget as presented by the Operating
Committee at an Annual or Special Meeting.
1. At the Annual Meeting of the District, the electors of shall have the power to order
such taxes and provide for assessing and collecting the same on ratable real estate in the District.
2. Such taxes so ordered shall be assessed by the District Tax Assessor on taxable
properties according to the valuations made by the assessors of the towns of Westerly and
3. The District Tax Assessor is also empowered to enter into binding agreements with
adjacent fire districts relative to the reasonable and equitable apportionment of amounts assessed
on those properties which lie partially in the Dunn's Corners Fire District and partially in another
4. In assessing and collecting said taxes ands amounts, the officers of the District shall
conduct such proceedings and follow such procedures as the law requires to be followed by the
corresponding officers of towns in assessing and collecting town taxes, to the extent practicable.
5. The District may provide for such deduction from any tax or amount assessed if paid
by an appointed time, or for such penalty by way of percentage of the tax if not paid at the
appointed time, not exceeding eighteen percent (18%) per annum, as it may be deemed necessary
to ensure punctual payment.
1. The District Assessor shall annually levy and assess a tax at such a rate so as to
provide revenue sufficient to pay all operating expenses together with any other items set forth in
the budget for the current year, on all property within the limits of the District which is liable to
taxation under this charter, said levy and assessment to be made by the Assessor on or before
August 15th in each year. The Assessor, upon completing the assessment for the year, shall date
and sign the same.
2. The Tax Collector/Assessor shall have the authority to assess properties which may
have been omitted from the lists of assessments from the towns of Westerly and Charlestown, and
produce a tax bill for those properties based on said assessment.
3. All taxes owed shall be due and payable on or before September 30th in each year, and
all taxes owed remaining unpaid after that date in each year shall thereinafter bear interest at a
rate established within this Charter.
1. The Tax Collector, before commencing his or her duties, shall give his or her bond
with corporate surety in the amount and form satisfactory to the Operating Committee, the
premiums for which shall be paid by the District.
2. The Collector shall collect all taxes levied and assessed, said taxes to be payable on or
before such time as provided herein.
3. The collector of taxes for the District shall have the same powers and authority as are
conferred by law on collectors of taxes in the towns of this state.
V. Fire Department.
The Dunn's Corners Fire District is affiliated with the Dunn's Corners Fire Department,
which will exist to provide fire suppression and prevention services as provided in this charter.
The Dunn's Corners Fire Department is an autonomous organization with its own bylaws and
A. The District Chief shall be selected by a committee comprised of the four (4) at-large
members of the Operating Committee, the Fire Department Representative, and two (2) members
of the Dunn's Corners Fire Department (to be selected by the Dunn's Corners Fire Department).
The District Chief shall be under the supervision of the Operating Committee. The District Chief
shall be responsible for supervising the day-to-day affairs and operation of the district and the
Dunn's Corners Fire Department.
B. The District Chief shall be in command of the Dunn's Corners Fire Department
personnel and the district apparatus, equipment and fire stations.
C. Emergency Powers – At any fire or emergency, the District Chief, or in his/her
absence, the senior officer, shall have the power to take any and all action deemed necessary and
appropriate to stop the progress of any fire, to suppress all disturbances and maintain order, to
order any or all persons to leave the vicinity of any fire, and to command from the inhabitants of
the District all necessary assistance in suppressing the fire and preserving and protecting life and
property, and any person violating such an order may be prosecuted and subject to the same
penalties as stated in the Charter.
D. In the event of damage to facilities or failure of equipment which renders the District
unable to provide appropriate response to fire and related emergencies, the Fire Chief is
authorized to expend such funds as necessary to effect repairs in the event of damage or failure.
To the extent that the needed funds exceed budget, the expenditure shall first be approved by at
least three (3) other members of the Operating Committee.
A. General – The electors of the District may enact any and all bylaws deemed necessary
and appropriate to carry out its purposes as provided in this charter. These bylaws shall not be in
violation of or repugnant to this charter or any laws of this state.
B. Emergencies – The electors of the District shall have the power to enact bylaws
prescribing the duties of the inhabitants of the district or its contractees during a fire or other
emergency and for the purpose of enforcing the commands of fire department officers with
respect to suppressing disorder, guarding or removing property, or rendering other services in
time of fire, and also for the protection of any apparatus or property of the District.
VII. Bonds and Other Obligations.
A. Power to issue bonds and other instruments of indebtedness. The District shall have
the power and authority to issue bonds and any other instruments of indebtedness and to secure
the payment of the same in any manner and subject to such terms and conditions as may be
deemed necessary and appropriate and set forth in the resolution authorizing said bonds or other
instruments of indebtedness. The Operating Committee shall authorize the issuance of any bonds
or other instruments of indebtedness in a resolution, which shall thereafter be approved by the
electors of the District at any Annual or Special Meeting. Any bonds or other instruments of
indebtedness shall be signed by the Treasurer and shall bear the seal of the District or a facsimile
B. Limitation on alteration of powers of the District. The state does hereby pledge to and
agree with the holders of the bonds and other instruments of indebtedness of the District that the
state shall not limit or alter rights hereby vested in the District until the bonds or other
instruments of indebtedness, together with interest thereon, and all costs and expenses in
connection with any actions or proceedings by or on behalf of the holders thereof, are fully met
and discharged or otherwise provided for.
C. The District shall indemnify any District/Department officers for damages, judgments,
settlements, cost and expenses incurred in connection with any action, suit or appeal therefrom
arising out of an alleged or actual breach of duty, neglect, error, misstatement or omission, or any
other matter claimed against said person solely
by reason of
their his or her being an officer of the
District or the Dunn's Corners Fire Department.
A. Tax exemption. It is hereby declared that the District and the carrying out of its
corporate purposes are in all respects for the benefit of the people of the state, and for the
improvement of their health, safety, welfare and property, and that the District will be performing
essential governmental functions in the exercise of the powers conferred by this charter.
Accordingly, the District shall be required to pay no taxes or assessments or sums in lieu of taxes
to the state or any political subdivision thereof upon any of the property acquired by it or under its
jurisdiction, control, possession, or supervision or upon its activities or operations or upon any
earnings, revenues, moneys or other income derived by the District, and that the bonds issued by
the District and any income therefrom shall at all times be exempt from taxation.
B. Costs of collection. In addition to any other sums to which it may be entitled in
accordance with this charter and applicable law, in any action or proceeding to collect taxes
assessed or fees imposed in accordance with this charter, the District shall be entitled to also
collect the reasonable costs of collection, including attorney's fees.
C. Continuation of District. Any act, resolution, contract, employment, and/or any other
obligation, matter, or thing undertaken by the District in accordance with its charter as originally
granted, and as the same has been amended from time to time, shall be deemed to be continued
and in full force and effect under the terms of the charter as amended and granted herein.
D. Amendment. The charter may be amended in three (3) steps:
1. A written proposal shall be presented at an Annual or Special Meeting of the District.
Notice for that meeting shall state that amendment to the charter shall be considered at that
meeting. After suitable discussion the amendment will be tabled.
2. Consideration is resumed at the next Annual or Special Meeting, which shall occur no
less than thirty (30) days after the proposal was first presented. Notice for that meeting shall state
that amendment to the charter shall be considered at that meeting. The amendment must be
approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the electors present and voting.
3. The amendment to the charter shall be effective only upon passage of an act by the
General Assembly amending the charter in conformity with such prior vote of the District.
E. Implementation. This act shall take effect upon its passage, providing, however, that
all current officers of the present Dunn's Corners Fire District shall continue in office until the
establishment election of officers pursuant to
section II of the general laws herein this act.
APPENDIX A - BOUNDARIES
Beginning at the intersection of the easterly boundary line of land of the State of Rhode
Island (known as Westerly State Airport) with the southerly line of Post Road, so-called also
known as U.S. Route 1;
Thence westerly along the southerly side of Post Road to the intersection of the southerly
line of Post Road and the
side of Route 78 to; thence northerly along the easterly
side of Route 78 to a stone bound set in the ground at the southerly boundary line of land, now or
formerly of Franklin W. Smith;
Thence continuing northerly a distance of seventy-seven (77) feet, more or less, along the
easterly side of Route 78 to another stone bound set in the ground, bounded easterly by land, now
or formerly of Oscar Vose;
Thence in a general northeasterly direction a distance of one thousand sixty-five (1065)
feet, more or less, bounded northwesterly by land of the Town of Westerly;
Thence continuing in the same general direction a distance of two hundred thirty-five
(235) feet, more or less, to another stone bound;
Thence in a general northerly direction a distance of eight hundred ninety (890) feet,
more or less, to another stone bound located south of Chapman's Pond, so-called;
Thence continuing in a general northeasterly direction across Chapman's Pond to the
intersection of the center line of Aquataug Brook and the southerly line of Chapman's Pond;
Thence northerly along said center line of Aquataug Brook to the southerly line of the
Thence in a general easterly direction along the southerly line of Westerly-Bradford Road
to a point of intersection with the westerly line of Bradford-Dunn's Corners Road;
Thence continuing easterly in the same general course to the easterly side of Bradford-
Dunn's Corners Road;
Thence in a general northerly direction along the easterly side of the Bradford-Dunn's
Corners Road with the intersection of the southerly line of a connecting road running in a general
easterly and westerly direction to the Woody Hill Road;
Thence in a general easterly direction along the southerly line of said connecting road to
the intersection of the westerly line of Woody Hill Road;
Thence in a general northeasterly direction to the intersection of Charlestown-Westerly
town line with the intersection of the southerly line of Buckeye Brook Road, so-called;
Thence easterly, northerly and easterly along the southerly line of said Buckeye Brook
Road to the intersection of the southerly line of Buckeye Brook Road and the westerly line of
Governor Greene Trail, so-called;
Thence southerly along the westerly line of Governor Greene Trail to the northerly shore
line of Watchaug Pond;
Thence westerly, northerly, southerly, easterly and southerly along the shoreline of
Watchaug Pond to the intersection of a stone wall near the southerly point of Watchaug Pond;
Thence southeasterly along said stone wall and a continuation thereof to the shoreline of
the Atlantic Ocean;
Thence Westerly following the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean to the intersection of the
Westerly-Charlestown town line;
Thence northerly along said town line to the intersection of the southerly shoreline of
Thence northeasterly, northerly, and westerly along the shoreline of Quonochontaug
Pond to the intersection with the said Westerly-Charlestown town line;
Thence westerly along said Pond to the easterly boundary of Shelter Harbor Fire District;
Thence northerly, westerly, and southerly along the easterly, northerly and westerly
boundaries of said fire district, and returning to the said Pond;
Thence in a general westerly direction along the northerly shore of said Quonochontaug
Pond to its intersection with the northerly boundary of Weekapaug Fire District;
Thence in a general Westerly direction bounded southerly by said Weekapaug Fire
District to the northwesterly corner thereof at a point about one thousand one hundred sixty
(1160) feet northeasterly from Weekapaug Road;
Thence southwesterly along the northwesterly boundary of said Weekapaug Fire District
to Winnapaug or (Brightman's) Pond;
Thence in a general westerly direction along the northerly shore of said pond to a point
opposite Stenhouse Road, so-called, a right-of-way shown on plat of Winnapaug Beach Park;
Thence northerly to and along the center line of said Stenhouse Road to Shore Road;
Thence crossing said Shore Road and running northerly along the easterly line of Tom
Harvey Road to its intersection with the southerly boundary of the State Airport marked by a
Thence in a general easterly and northerly direction along said airport fence line to a
point on the southerly line of Post Road at the point and place of beginning.
Excepting that certain parcel or tract of land bounded and described as follows:
Beginning at the northwesterly corner of the tract herein described, said corner being the
southwesterly corner of land of the Estate of Martha H. Crandall et al and also located in the
easterly line of land of Ruth Gulliver;
Thence running southerly bounded westerly by land of Ruth Gulliver a distance of fifty-
eight (58) feet, more or less, to the water line of Quonochontaug Pond;
Thence following the water line of said Quonochontaug Pond, easterly and southerly a
distance of six hundred ten (610) feet, more or less, to a drill hole in a boulder marking the
southwesterly corner of the herein described tract;
Thence running northeasterly bounded southeasterly by land of the estate of Martha H.
Crandall et al. a distance of five hundred fifty three and 76/100 (553.76) feet to a drill hole at a
Thence turning an interior angle of 148 deg. 14' and running northerly following the line
of the stone wall a distance of 62.30 feet to a drill hole at a wall corner;
Thence turning an interior angle of 90 deg. 15' and running westerly following the line of
the stonewall and bounded northerly by land of the estate of Martha H. Crandall et al a distance
of five hundred twenty-two and 26/100 (522.26) feet to the point and place of beginning, and
those other parcels or tracts of land designated
as Shady Harbor Fire District
Quonochontaug Central Beach Fire District.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.